The first-ever Muskegon Community College Men of Color Achievement Conference will take place on campus from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Friday, April 28. Jahquan Hawkins, author of Finding My Way: A Practical Guide to College Success and a noted researcher in minority male educational achievement, will be the keynote speaker.
Registration for the conference, which is open to the public, is $10 per person and includes lunch. To register, contact Willie German Jr., conference coordinator, at (231) 777-0645 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline to register is Monday, April 17.
“The purpose of the conference is to engage students and focus on the barriers they encounter in the completion of a college education,” explained German, an Information Commons/Student Success Advocate at MCC. “We are doing this by bringing together successful professionals to serve as role models and to share their personal stories.”
By doing so, German hopes they will influence the high school and college students in attendance to “overcome obstacles, develop leadership skills, and understand the importance of cultivating a support network to help them attain their goals.”
In addition to Hawkins, the other presenters are: MCC President Dr. Dale Nesbary, MCC Provost Dr. John Selmon, MCC Instructor Ismael Enriquez, Judge Gregory C. Pittman, Muskegon Heights Police Chief Dr. Joseph E. Thomas, and community activist and organizer Eddie Sanders, Jr.
A Detroit native, Hawkins is a Detroit Public Schools graduate who earned a Bachelor’s in Sociology from Wayne State University and a Master’s in College Student Affairs from Eastern Illinois University. He has been working professionally in higher education for more than 10 years and currently serves as the Dean of Campus Affairs for Oakland Community College’s Southfield Campus.
He has been recognized both locally and nationally for his work with the Man Up program, an initiative which focuses on early exposure to higher education for minority males attending metro Detroit area high schools. In 2012, he co-founded Exposure U, a company which provides college success coaching for prospective college students. In his spare time, Hawkins volunteers with Detroit Kappa League, Big Brothers Big Sisters and My Brother’s Keeper as a mentor and community partner.
Last August, as part of its ongoing commitment to improve the academic success of its underrepresented male students, MCC joined the Minority Male Community College Collaborative (M2C3) offered by the National Consortium on College Men of Color. Launched in February 2015, the M2C3 Consortium, with its more than 70 college and university members, facilitates an exchange of ideas between community colleges across the nation on how best to serve men of color in educational institutions.